Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Young Adult

Ada: 'How old are you?'
Me: 'Nineteen.'
Ada: 'How come you have nail polish?'
Me: 'Because...'
Ada: 'Because you're a young adult?'

I stared at you for a long time.

Erik Erikson stated that a young adult is a person who is between the age of twenty to forty. An adolescent person however, is between the age of thirteen and nineteen. Google says that opinions and definitions of the term young adult may vary. Based on the definition of Erik Erikson, I am not a young adult yet. I still have ten months to go before I can actually say that I am a young adult. Sorry about that. Assuming that I am a young adult by your standards, I'll just go on and tell you what being a young adult may mean. 

It means going to college. College is like why-on-earth-am-I-here-can't-I-just-skip-to-the-part-where-I-graduate-and-make-the-most-out-of-life?! Half of college is spent wondering why you need those general subjects that you've been having since the day your parents enrolled you in preschool. Most of the time adults will tell you that you need those general subjects because blah blah blah. I mute them when they come up with reasons. The other half of college is spent being stressed out with those requirements that just have to be done.

It means learning to cram. You'll find that it's so much better to sleep when you have a report to do. You might find a boring show so interesting when you have to review for that history exam. You'll find ways to waste your time on purpose just because you don't want to do a certain requirement for a class. Because of that, you'll end up doing a ten page paper in an hour and praying to God that your professor finds it in his heart to pass you in his subject. You need to know how to cram 'cause it'll teach you not to do it again you might just be doing it for many more years.

It means not fixing your room. Unless you're a person who cannot stand mess. You'll find an excuse to leave everything around and not in their proper place. You'll leave your books on the floor, clothes on the bed, papers flying around and you just might find a way to sneak food in without anyone knowing. You might make up excuses like, 'Mom, I get asthma when I clean my room.' Or maybe you might tell the maid, 'I can't clean my room 'cause I'm too tired and my head hurts.' You know, fix your room. You just might find something you need. Or might end up playing some music and dancing and singing all over the place.

It means telling your friends that you're fat and that you're going on a diet. You'll be on that diet of yours for a few days and then you'll give up. Lemme tell you though that you aren't fat. You don't need to go on diets. You don't need to look like a Barbie doll. Heck, no one should look like a Barbie doll! When you start thinking that you're fat, just remember that food is yummy and you will not be able to survive without your favorite food that apparently contains so many calories. 

It means doing something stupid. For me this meant getting five piercings. It also meant dying my hair and getting addicted to hair color. For others, it means getting that I-thought-it-looked-cool-when-I-was-young tattoo. Trust me. Everyone does something so stupid when they're a young adult. Some drink too much and miss exams. Others talk back at teachers and fail a subject or two. Don't be sad if you've done something stupid. You can't undo the past. All you can do is move on and try your best to make do with the present.

It means not taking your family for granted. Sure, you might get into bad fights with your parents or with your siblings, but you'll learn to love them no matter what. You'll need to make time for them even if you've got four papers due on Monday, but just have to go to a family reunion the day before. You'll realize that they're always going to be there for you when you feel like your world is coming to an end. When you feel like crap, they'll cheer you up. Of course, it is their responsibility to say, 'I told you so!' They're the only ones who will love you without expecting anything in return.

It means believing your faith. You'll hear a load of crap about the faith you believe in. People will try to get you out of it. Others may help you grow in it. Just remember that you have to decide for yourself what to believe and what not to believe. Listen to the opinion of other people, but don't let their opinion cause you not to believe in anything.

It means being yourself. A lot of times, young adults let others dictate how they should behave, dress, talk, etc. Some get lured into the wrong group of friends who talk them into being someone they're not. Please don't let anyone tell you who to be and who not to be. Sometimes being yourself means getting into trouble. Sometimes it means standing up for what you believe in. Sometimes it means taking the side of the person who was right all along. Sometimes it means losing a friend. It means not being scared to be you. 

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